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Franken bill would increase number of high-quality principals in high-needs schools


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Al Franken today introduced legislation aimed at increasing the number of high-quality principals serving in high-need schools.

“One of the most common features of successful schools in high-needs communities is the presence of an effective school principal,” Sen. Al Franken said in a statement announcing the bill (PDF). “But despite the importance of school leadership, the federal government has not devoted adequate attention and resources to improving the quality of principals in schools. Our bill will create a pipeline of effective principals for high-need schools by providing high-quality programs with funding to recruit and train principals to take on the challenge of leading those schools.”

Grants would be made available for training programs to prepare aspiring principals with the aim of improving academic performance in high-need schools. Aspiring principals would receive training, a one-year residency under a “mentor principal” and two years of professional development once they begin. They would be required to commit to four years of service at a high-need school.

The bill was introduced with Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. A companion measure has been introduced in the House.